January started as a month of fresh beginnings for many and before I report on market stats, I think it is wise to note a trend that I feel will skew market statistics slightly this month. Occasionally, sellers will pull a home off the market over the Christmas holidays and relist it for sale in the New Year. I feel this flood of "new" listings may have artificially increased the total number of new listings for January.
With that said, here's the skinny for January 2009:
1. Currently there are 613 homes for sale in Lethbridge (435 single family, 152 condo, 26 mobile homes) which is up 47 listings from the beginning of January.
2. 50 homes sold in the city of Lethbridge in the month of January (Down from 55 sales in December)
3. The three most active price ranges for sales board wide were $160 - $179,999 with 12 sales, $180 - $199,999 with 8 sales and 3 ranges tied at 7 sales in each ($200 - $219,999, $240 - $249,999 and $350 - $399,999)
So my question is, does the decrease in sales imply that buyer's are still stalling and waiting for the market to bottom out? I don't think so. Does this mean that there are a lot of buyers out there trying to get into the market and are not able to obtain proper financing due to the credit crunch and tighter lending practices? I say BINGO.
Every day I see several listings that were "Pending Sale" and are now "Reactivated". So what is likely happening here?
- Appraisals are coming in less than the buyer's offered purchase price and the banks are pulling their financing
- Diligent buyers with pre-approved mortgages are making offers, and then the banks and brokers are putting out the hoops for them to jump through and they are not succeeding in the jumping contest.
So what can a buyer do to get into the housing market despite the efforts of a gun shy financial institution?
1. Expect to provide every piece of paper imaginable to your banker / broker with regards to your finances. Communicate and co-operate with your mortgage specialist / broker and make sure you provide all the information they request. Remember, someone is putting hoops out for them as well.
2. Have a plan B. Talk to a friend or relative who may be able to cosign for you if you suddenly can't qualify on your own.
3. Make sure your REALTOR® performs their own market analysis on a property before you make an offer on it. Even if it's worth X amount of dollars in your mind, it's the bank's opinion that matters right now.
4. Be persisitent in your thinking and don't miss your opportunity to own a home simply because the banks are making it more of a challenge!
Visit me for more information on Lethbridge Real Estate
And for those who follow:
My predictions for January were:
205 new listings, 89 solds
462 new listings, 76 solds
Lethbridge and District Association of REALTORS®
MLS ® Statistic Report
[JANUARY 2009 ]
|Total # of Listings [Month]||462||501||375||-8%|
|Total # of Listings YTD||462||501||375||-8%|
|Total # of Expired Listings [Month]||175||94||28||86%|
|Total # of Expired Listings YTD||175||94||28||86%|
|Total # of Sales [Month]||76||167||184||-54%|
|Total # of Sales YTD||76||167||184||-54%|
|Total Sales Dollar Volume [Month]||$16,982,200||$40,018,306||$37,662,640||-58%|
|Total Sales Dollar Volume YTD||$16,982,200||$40,018,306||$37,662,640||-58%|
|Total # of Closed Sales [Month]||76||167||182||425|
|Total # of Closed Sales YTD||76||167||182||425|
|Total Dollar Volume of Closing Sales YTD||$17,215,200||$40,018,306||$37,017,640||$94,251,146|
|Total # Sales Pending||1||0||0||1|
|Total Dollar Volume of Sales Pending||$||$0||$0||$0|